Marrying politics

Political wives, Ann Romney and Michelle Obama humanize their husbands on the campaign trail. Courtesy of and

Political wives, Ann Romney and Michelle Obama humanize their husbands on the campaign trail.
Courtesy of and

Every four years, two people face each other across imposing podiums and debate over the best course of action for the future of the United States.  Election year is a time for Americans to reflect on the past four years and decide if the country has made progress with the current President or question if it is necessary to move to a new leader.
Both the Republican and Democratic representatives devote years to traveling across the country, studying issues and raising money for their party. However, it is not only the candidates who are put under the spotlight. The pressure of campaigning affects the nominees’ families as well.
“I do think that the image of the family does influence the campaign because if you have a stable, normal family as a basis, then the public will view you more favorably,” Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore, Jen Esposito said.
Recently, wives have begun to play a more significant role in getting their husbands elected. This year the wives in question are Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.
Susan Whitson, a spokeswoman to former First Lady Laura Bush, says of the benefits of a first lady in an interview with the Huffington Post, “she doesn’t have a job description; she can make whatever she wants of the job. She’s takes on issues she cares about. She humanizes the President. She gives that softer personal side and is able to connect with them.”
Almost every President’s wife has focused her attention on a specific issue that is meaningful to them. Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson concentrated on “Making America Beautiful” and Barbara Bush focused on literacy. Today, Michelle Obama has focused her efforts on healthier diets and fitness for children. Historically, Americans seem to celebrate a first lady who is an advocate for a cause or a social need.
“I think that both wives have had a positive value in this campaign. Each is certainly an asset to her husband and has placed him in the best light,” said Mr. Vincent Badagliacca, Upper School History Department Chair. “Michelle Obama has defended the President’s record while Ann Romney has made the case for her husband’s undeniable record of lifelong success. I don’t think either candidate could ask for more.”
– Mary Grace Henry, Staff Reporter